Annual Benefit Dinner for Our Family of Schools, 2/24/15 at The New York Public Library

"On philanthropy, my approach is to try to relieve pain rather than spread joy. Social service, hospitals and educational institutions can make the world a better place and help the disadvantaged make their way toward the American dream."

- Byron Wien, UA 2015 Benefit Keynote

On Tuesday, February 24 th, The Urban Assembly held its sixth annual Benefit Dinner at The New York Public Library. Our theme this year was Public Education for the 21st Century Economy.

The night was full of joy, laughter, and inspiration as our community came together to celebrate our family of schools and raise over $570,000 for the UA.

Master of Ceremonies and board member Rev. Jacques DeGraff led the evening which featured remarks by NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Benefit Chair John M. Dionisio, Keynote Speaker Byron Wien, and Thelma Ferguson, accepting an award on behalf of honoree The JPMorgan Chase Foundation. The night also featured exceptional remarks by a 10th grader at The UA School for Global Commerce, a 12th grader at The UA Gateway School for Technology, and Sandro Carrasco, an Engineer at Turner Construction company and alumnus of The UA New York Harbor School.

To see a selection of photos from the evening click here.

MC Rev. Jacques DeGraff with UA student and alumnus speakers
Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Founder & CEO Richard Kahan, and student speakers
Benefit Chair John M. Dionisio introducing UA School for Global Commerce student speaker
Board Chair Jeffrey A. Smith presenting JPMorgan Chase Foundation honoree representative Thelma Ferguson with award
Rev. Jacques DeGraff introduces Keynote speaker Byron Wien

The Career & Technical Education Symposium, 12/13/14 at New York University

On December 13 th 2014, The Urban Assembly hosted a Career & Technical Education Symposium: Preparing Today's Youth for the 21st Century Economy at New York University's Kimmel Center, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

The symposium brought together nearly 200 participants representing leaders in the field of CTE representing practitioners, experts, policy advisors, funders, and public and private sector partners. Speakers included Deputy Mayor Richard Buery and former Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier.

Please visit the Symposium website to experience some of the day's video, photographs, discussion topics, resources, participants, and the #CTENYC Twitter feed to learn more.

Recognized as a leader in Career & Technical Education (CTE), The Urban Assembly has created seven New York City CTE public high schools. In our effort to serve, celebrate and learn from the field, this CTE Symposium was the first in an ongoing series of dissemination efforts for this initiative in 2015 and beyond.


JPMorgan Chase November 2014 ATM Campaign

We're At An ATM Near You!

Thanks to the generosity and support of our partner, JPMorgan Chase, The Urban Assembly will be featured on thousands of Chase ATM screens throughout New York City during the month of November!

The screen photo features The Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology; a cutting-edge Career & Technical Education High School located in Manhattan that will graduate its inaugural class this spring.

"Summer Melt" Book Release Features The UA Bridge to College Program

Summer MeltWe are excited to share that The Urban Assembly's Bridge to College program, created and directed by UA Director of College Readiness Ritu Sen, is featured in a newly released book - Summer Melt: Supporting Low-Income Students Through the Transition to College by Benjamin L. Castleman and Lindsay C. Page and published by Harvard Education Press.

Castleman and Page's research suggests what the UA already recognized: that up to 40% of low-income students who are accepted to college and intend to enroll do not actually attend in the fall. Summer Melt dedicates a chapter to The Urban Assembly's response to this concern, our Bridge to College program. Bridge to College, developed and refined since 2009, is a youth-driven, peer-mentoring program. Its goal is to ensure our high school graduates, a majority of whom live in poverty and are the first in their family to apply to college, successfully matriculate to college.

The chapter titled "With a Little Help from My Friends: Peer Mentors Offer Summer Support" featuresYabielis Guerrero (Yabi), a 2010 alumnus of The Urban Assembly Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice, a 2014 graduate of Skidmore College and a Bridge to College Coach/Program Replication Coordinator. Through Yabi's own high school to college transition story and that of other students, Castleman and Page describe the success of the UA program. As part of Bridge to College, the UA hires and trains College Coaches, who are UA school alumni currently enrolled in college. These coaches work with recent high school graduates to help them identify and overcome the many financial, logistical and personal difficulties faced during the transition from high school graduation to college matriculation.

Our College Coaches help their students with everything from settling a bill with the Bursar's Office to figuring out how to get to campus for the first day of classes. As Yabi describes, "These are vulnerable students. I tell them my story as well. I need to show empathy, that I understand where they are coming from. They also need to understand me. Students often don't understand what they are being told. I was helping them to get to college, and they needed to understand that."

In total, over 1,000 UA students were served in 2014 by 15 UA College Coaches. Through Bridge to College, UA has achieved a consistent 75% college matriculation rate for its alumni within six months of graduation, and nearly 80% within one year of graduation.

The Urban Assembly continued its replication of Bridge to College in 2014 with partners CUNY At Home in College and the College Bound Initiative. As part of the replication, the UA trained 100 College Coaches from across NYC in May and June of 2014, serving over 50 high schools outside of The Urban Assembly's own 15 schools. These 100 Bridge to College Coaches provided support to nearly 12,000 NYC high school students in the summer of 2014.

Bridge to College is funded by The Clark Foundation, The Shippy Foundation, The Charles Hayden Foundation and through the generosity of our diverse community of supporters.

Urban Assembly Bridge to College Coaches - Summer 2014

The Urban Assembly (UA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering underserved youth by providing them with the academic and life skills necessary for post-secondary success. The UA creates unique public schools that are open to all students, scales up promising programs, and coordinates with hundreds of partner organizations in the private, public, non-profit and higher education sectors. In the 2014-15 school year, the UA network is serving over 9,000 students through 23 small district middle and high schools, including seven Career & Technical Education schools, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education.